Equestrian: Ireland take bronze at European youth championships
Jack Ryan, Ciaran Nallon, Harry Allen and Kate Derwin made up the Irish team
The bronze medal-winning Irish Junior show jumping squad of Jack Ryan, Kate Derwin, Harry Allen, Ciaran Nallon, and Seamus Hughes-Kennedy, pictured with team manager James Kernan
Ireland won the bronze medal for the second year in a row following Friday’s final Junior team competition at the European youth show jumping championships at Zuidwolde in The Netherlands.
The Irish quartet of Jack Ryan (Essenar High Hopes), Ciaran Nallon (Cloe Gp Z), Harry Allen (Dancing Queen Z) and Kate Derwin (AHG Whiterock Cruise Down) completed on a total of 18 faults as Spain took gold on 14.24 while Germany claimed silver on 15.79. Twenty-one nations fielded teams.
“I am so proud of our team,” commented Irish youth show jumping team manager, James Kernan. “They really had to dig deep in what was a very tough competition which lasted nine hours today alone. I have to say the course builder did a fantastic job. He had you thinking from the first fence to the last and you had to focus on the time allowed also.
“I want to thank all our sponsors for their support and all the parents and coaches who helped make this happen and of course to thank Horse Sport Ireland also for their fantastic support,” concluded Kernan who, back in 1974, won the Junior individual gold. Ryan, Allen and Derwin were also on the team which won bronze in 2018.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy added: “I want to congratulate James Kernan and our GAIN Junior team members Harry Allen, Kate Derwin, Jack Ryan and Ciaran Nallon, along with Seamus Hughes-Kennedy who was also an important part of the squad, on a fantastic achievement in winning a European championship bronze medal.
“To finish among the medals in a competition that attracted the top riders from 21 European teams is another boost for the Horse Sport Ireland high performance programme which continues to produce excellent results. I have to thank all our loyal sponsors and the parents, coaches and all those working behind the scenes who contributed to this result.”
Ahead of Sunday’s individual final, Co Westmeath’s Kate Derwin currently tops the leaderboard on 1.26 penalties with Co Wexford-born Harry Allen lying seventh on 5.66.
The Young Riders’ quartet of Susan Fitzpatrick (Fellow Castlefield), Cian Harrison (Tabby), Jason Foley (Uncas S) and Mikey Pender (HHS Burnchurch) finished fifth in Friday’s team final on a total of 25.68 faults. The Netherlands won gold at home on 10.93, the silver medal went to Belgium (12.11) while Germany claimed bronze (13.19). Denmark finished fourth on 23.16.
Best-placed of the Irish going into Sunday’s individual final is Kilkenny’s Fitzpatrick who is lying 11th on 6.69 faults. Carlow’s Foley, last year’s Junior individual gold medallist, is six places back on 8.28.
The European youth eventing championships are also taking place in The Netherlands, at Maarsbergen, where, after dressage, the Junior team is lying third of 14 while the Young Riders’ squad is eighth of 11. The best-placed Irish rider individually, ahead of Saturday’s cross-country phase, is Dublin’s Lilly Keogh who is in fifth place in the Junior championship with Master Tredstep. All Irish youth teams are sponsored by Gain Equine Nutrition.
Ireland’s best show jumping results at senior level on Friday came at Chantilly in France where Co Offaly native Darragh Kenny, riding Romeo (69.57), and Co Wexford-born Bertram Allen, on board Molly Malone V (72.58), finished third and fifth in the first competition in this 12th leg of the Global Champions League. The winner was the host nation’s Julien Epaillard on Virtuose Champeix (65.09).
The main jumping action at home this weekend takes place at the Cork Summer Show in Curraheen where 23 horses have been declared for Saturday’s leg of The Underwriting Exchange 1.40m national Grand Prix and 16 for Sunday’s TRM/HSI New Heights premier series 1.50m Grand Prix. The seventh leg of the 2019 Irish Sport Horse Studbook show jumping series is also taking place at the Cork venue.